the POSSIBILITY of sex

“So you’re really back in the game, huh?” Eddie pushes the last piece of the mulberry tart towards me with his fork. I shrug. We’re both killing some time by grabbing a bite before heading out to a singles’-slash-benefit event in the Mission. I nudge the last bite towards him. Eddie’s got an insatiable sweet tooth. I wouldn’t even think of depriving him of this last choice morsel. He grins widely. “Just for that, I’m going to let you in on a little secret.”

“What’s that?” I reach for my purse. Eddie playfully swats my wrist with one hand and slips a crisp ten-dollar bill under our dessert plate. He’s quick.

I wrinkle my nose, then stick out my tongue. We’ve known each other since grade school. I’m allowed. He wags his finger at me knowingly. Eyes crinkle, followed by his killer grin flashing perfect pearly-whites. “Do NOT ever forget that EVERY single thing a guy does is ultimately motivated by getting more sex or reproducing.”

I blink twice. Really. No kidding. I roll my eyeballs and start to collect my things. Pashmina. Purse. I’m always forgetting something. Eddie snatches the coat I’ve left by the window ledge. The book tucked in my coat sleeve tumbles to the floor. It’s Steve Harvey’s latest concoction ACT LIKE A LADY, THINK LIKE A MAN. I grin sheepishly and try to grab it from him. “Funny you should say that, Ed.” I playfully punch his arm. “Steve says the same exact thing.”

Eddie’s got an iron grip. He flips open to the page I’ve bookmarked. “What’s this 90-day thing?”

“Kinda-sorta along the lines of what you’re saying.” I’m beet red. Eddie scans the chapter. “Hey, we’re going to be late.”

He doesn’t look up. I try not to fidget. I clear my throat. No response. Eddie’s still poring over the pages. “Actually, this guy is right. Never give up your ‘cookie’ right away. It’s your most precious gem.”

We lock gazes. I’m silent. Then I tap the back of my left wrist to indicate the time. He ignores the gesture and continues, “You definitely should save it for that special someone.”

I blush. Again. I’m pretty certain he’s poking fun at me. “You’re my own personal PSA.” Actually, more like one of those afterschool specials. What am I, thirteen? Eddie hands me the book. I stuff it in my purse. Time to switch gears. Sort of.

“Hey, thanks for heading to this singles’ shindig with me.”

“Sure. Anytime. Do you have your game plan down?”

“I have to have a game plan?”

“Of course.” He jabs the the crosswalk button with his fist. “You’ve been complaining about how you don’t want to be a buddy-collector anymore. You need a plan so that you don’t make the same mistakes.”

He’s right. Friendliness is both my biggest blessing and constant curse. I sigh. “What do you suggest?”

“Flirt.” Eddie stoops down to play with the labradoodle tied to the corner lamppost. He’s as much of a sucker for leggy-brunettes as he is for all of GOD’s four-legged friends. “Just a little. Learn how to use your eyes to flirt with a guy.”

I grimace. Flirting is not my forte. Especially not when I’m conscious of it. “And how do you suggest I do that?”

Eddie chuckles. The light turns green. He’s got a long, lazy gait that keeps me tottering in my four-inch CFM-heels just to keep up. “As you’re saying something funny, basically advertise the POSSIBILITY of sex and you’ll have many guys all over you.” He stops at the corner turns around to look at me and grins.

I reach his four strides in sixteen steps. Pathetic, I know. The cost of cute kills me. He gently grabs my elbow to avoid tripping over a nasty pothole, “But NEVER have sex with anyone quickly or easily.”

“Wait,” it’s my turn to push the button to cross to the other side of the intersection. “I’m confused. You tell me to flirt with the guy. Promise him SEX…”

“… the POSSIBILITY of sex.”

“Same thing.”

“Nope, it’s not.”

“So you’re telling me to be a tease.” I’m sure that my cheeks are fire-engine red at this point. Not so much from exertion.

“No, I’m just giving you advice on how to get guys to fawn over you.” We’re outside the venue now. He reaches for his wallet and motions for the bouncer to reject my attempt at paying. “Guys will bend over backwards if they think they have a chance… however slight.”

Eddie hands the coat-check girl our belongings. I slip the claim ticket into my purse and glance up at his six-foot-four frame. I quickly bat my eyelashes. He grins like a proud Papa and rumples my hair. “Ready?”

12 thoughts on “the POSSIBILITY of sex”

  1. By his description, Eddie is a proponent of pursuit theory. The subtle push-pull of sex is a brilliant example of this.

    And he’s right, most guys will do damn near anything if he believes there’s a possibility of sex.

  2. What’s wrong with Eddie? From your description, he sounds like a good man – gentle, confident, naturally smooth. From the fact that you’ve described all this, it sounds like his qualities are not lost on you. So…what’s stopping you?

    Now, as for actually advertising the possibility of sex…I understand his point. If a hot woman tells me there’s a pot of sex at the end of her rainbow, I’m going. Being a tease works – on good and bad men alike. I think that’s setting the bar too low. Not the advice I’d give my younger sister, say.

    What do you want? A guy who will do anything for sex? No, I think what you want is man, defined as a male who holds traditional ideals of male honor and virtue. Does a man want sex? Yes, absolutely. But he won’t do anything to get it – he won’t lie, cheat, or deceive.

    How then, do you attract a man? You already know the answer. Basically, by being too good to be true. By being too kind, trusting, cheerful, graceful, dazzling and beautiful, real men will fear for your well-being. Appeal to his protective and providing instincts. He will marvel that someone like you exists in such a corrupt world, and want to cherish you. If you look like a hothouse flower, he will build a hothouse around you.

    Obviously, don’t be stupid. Don’t be too kind or too trusting. But act that way.

  3. I saw Steve Harvey on TV the other day talking about this book, and I thought, man, he’s got a good point about a 90-day probation period.

    It wasn’t just about Cookie (and I needed to be reminded of that TOO). The bigger part of his theory that struck me was his analogy to work “probation” periods – to see if the person would actually work hard for the position they sought.

    Women are making it too easy on men these days to get exactly what they want – whether it’s sex, a relationship, or just our time and energy. I’m not bashing men here, as I see even the “nice guys” fall into predictable “bad guy” behavior b/c, well, it’s just come too easy to them and they don’t value it (or us) because of that.

    I started my “back to old school” attitude that day. Seriously, every man – be it eventual friend, romantic interest, or even lover – is on a 90-day probation period. I was SO SICK of being taken for granted, and yet, I was the one giving away “me” with little to no effort. How can you value and treasure what you did not have to fight for?

    Mostly I’m referring to my time and energy, I was pretty good about not handing over the Cookie too fast, but the promise of cookie was always there – samples, recipes, a freakin’ map to “how to get cookie”, cookie this and cookie that. I had the game of “possibility of Cookie” down for 35 years, yet somehow I had become lazy, impatient and bored with that game, and Cookie was getting easier and easier to obtain because of that, the *promise* of cookie was always there, instead of just the *possibility*. Now I look back at the last disaster relationships and say – DUH. Oh, oh, I wonder what went wrong. Damn, what a rookie maneuever. You can text me for a date? Keep in touch via email? Plan half-assed dates? Flake? Cookie for no effort? When the hell did I decide that was acceptable? Geeeeez.

    A few of my guy friends said, hmmm, don’t know if I would make all this effort and also wait for 90 days. My response? Well, then, I guess you wouldn’t make the cut, would you?

    Act like a lady, think like a man. Love it. It’s not about being a tease – it’s about showing you are worthwhile to be pursued. No more texts and certainly no more cookie until they have EARNED it by showing effort, and not just for a few dates, for 90 days. I’ll still be a flirt, it’s who I am, I’m just reigning it in, and big time. Possibility, not promise.

  4. Wow, I read this blog post and then I read The Unbearable Lightness of Being. I think Eddie has read Milan Kundera…or maybe great minds think alike. A quotation from Milan Kundera’s The Unbearable Lightness of Being:

    “What is flirtation? One might say it is the behavior leading another to believe that sexual intimacy is possible, while preventing that possibility from becoming a certainty. In other words, flirting is a promise of sexual intercourse without a guarantee….

    “If for some women, flirting is second nature, insignificant routine, for Tereza it had developed into an important field of research with the goal of teaching her who she was and what she was capable of. But by making it important and serious, she deprived it of its lightness, and it became forced, labored, overdone. She disturbed the balance between promise and lack of guarantee (which, when maintained, is a sign of flirtistic virtuosity); she promised too ardently, and without making it clear that the promise involved no guarantee on her part. Which is another way of saying that she gave everyone the impression of being there for the taking.”

  5. I really agree with Josh’s comments. The whole “game” playing really gets to me in dating. I realize there are accepted actions (the exchanging of phone numbers, the not acting too needy) but there are emotions, too, and guys and women alike are idiots if they don’t think those emotions aren’t bubbling up, even if we’re trying our best to act suave… especially when discussing/hinting towards the possibility of sex. I think the most interesting facet of this conversation has to do with the unanswered question of how sex can alter a relationship before you even HAVE the relationship. This is something I think I need to explore more in my own relationship blog. Hmmm.

  6. @ZACK: Possibly.

    @JOSH: Beautifully put. Point taken (RE: Eddie). It’s complicated. As with most things that are “too good to be true.”

    @SERENDIPITY: Always LOVE your take on things! Now how to keep myself from those who are “cookie monster(s).”

    @ANONYMOUS: I wouldn’t put it past Eddie to dabble in the same reading circles as you.

    @EMILY: It’ll be interesting to find out how you pick apart the POSSIBILITY of sex with your own musings/adventures. Please DO share!

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